Welcome to our Author Spotlight, where we shine a light on writers, authors and literary wonders from all over the world.
1. First, tell us a little about your book/project?
The last book for my debut series (Finding Wyoming), Finding His Wallflower, is out now. The final Wickers child is finally taking a chance and asking out the shy girl he has felt a protective instinct for since they were kids. They both grew up in a small ranching town in Wyoming. He's the 4th of five children and one of the three that still live and work on the ranch as his full-time thing. She grew up in town, her family owning the local flower shop. Her sister was the wild twin while she was always the wallflower. This story involves two people who seem like total opposites to outsiders but end up being a perfect fit.
And speaking of her twin sister, her story, A Baby for Hunter, is the next one to be released and is the third story in my Coming Home Dallas series. When she finds out she's pregnant from her one-night stand; she decides to take off, not wanting judgement for still being wild in the small town she grew up in. When she finds a place to land, she eventually runs into that one-night stand again after becoming friends with the heroine from the first story of the series. The hero from the first book is the cousin of this story's hero.
2. What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning a book?
I write contemporary romance and draw a lot from what I already know. Occasionally I may run into a job that I want to know a little more about or a task (like a ranch chore because I have friends that grew up on farms and ranches, but I didn't), and I'll look up information as I go. Most things are just a few minutes as I go; it might involve asking a simple question on Google or watching a few videos on YouTube to be able to understand it enough to write whatever had me hung up.
3. If you could tell your younger writing self one thing, what would it be?
Just keep writing and reading. I often got stuck in the middle of a story, knowing how I wanted it to begin and end, but never the middle. After reading a book about plotting novels, I finally have been able to break that barrier. I don't exactly follow the plotting method; being more of a pantser with a bit of plotting, studying how to plot allows me to keep the story flowing.
4. Can you tell us a bit about your writing space? Is there something you need to have when writing a book? For example, a specific pen or notebook, a particular blend of coffee etc.
If I'm writing at home, then I'm at my desk, and the parts for writing include a couple of pens, my computer, and something to drink- typically Coke Zero. I also have bookshelves off to the side, my printer being on the top shelf of one of them. I have a small planner to keep track of my word count as I go through each project (and, let's be real, a bigger planner to control my life as a wife and mother). Then there is my corkboard on the wall with notecards for that bare minimum plotting, which gets moved around and added to as I move through a story.
5. If you could be a character from any book for 24hours, who would you be?
That's a hard question. I love living through the females I read and write about (okay, occasionally the males, too- but usually, I just wish I knew them in real life). Suppose I narrowed it down to just characters I've written. In that case, I would have to choose between Aubry Chalmers- Coming Home Dallas #1, New Goals for Brent, a photographer/book cover designer- or Mary Wickers- who doesn't have her own story but is the mother to those five Wickers children that are half of each story in Finding Wyoming (yeah, that would make me older), rancher's wife and best selling romance, author. I love my characters and each one as a little piece of me, but those are the two I would enjoy the most actually being them.